New Crows defender Lisa Whiteley credits the South Adelaide SANFLW program and former Panthers coach Krissie Steen for her rise into the AFLW.
Having played netball and soccer for the majority of her life, Whiteley began playing football for Morphettville Park when she was 23 years of age.
The self-confessed ‘footy nut’ only played one season before joining South Adelaide’s program for their inaugural SANFLW season in 2018.
She was one of South’s best players as they won the premiership that year, which led to being drafted to the Giants.
“I was still pretty new to footy during that inaugural South season, but the program there run by Krissie was pretty elite,” Whiteley said.
“The expectations were pretty high in terms of intensity and skills.
“Being so fresh to footy, the education side of it was really important for me, so going into a space where I had a lot more education about how to play football was really important.”
The 27-year-old is one of six players who are now on the Crows list after playing for South Adelaide under Steen, including Anne Hatchard, Hannah Munyard and Adelaide’s last three first round draft picks – Teah Charlton, Montana McKinnon and Nikki Gore.
Draftee Ashleigh Woodland also praised Steen, who just coached North Adelaide to the 2020 SANFLW premiership.
Whiteley is now looking forward to reuniting with her former Panthers teammates, after she was traded to the Crows in August.
“There’s definitely quite a few South girls I’m excited to play with again, I won premierships with them,” she said.
“It's pretty cool seeing them play now, some of those girls are going to be good players for a long time.”
Adelaide made three trades in August and also added Jessica Sedunary and Hannah Munyard to its list.